The End Times
In my last post, we explored Revelation 11:11-14 dealing with the Vindication of the Two Witnesses. In this post, we examine the Seventh Shofar. Recall that we last looked at the Sixth Shofar in Revelation 9:13-15 posted on June 7, 2017.
“The seventh angel sounded his shofar; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Messiah, and he will rule forever and ever!’ 16 The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones in God’s presence fell on their faces and worshipped God, 17 saying, ‘We thank you, Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, the One who is and was, that you have taken your power and have begun to rule. 18 The Goyim raged. But now your rage has come, the time for the dead to be judged, the time for rewarding your servants the prophets and your holy people, those who stand in awe of your name, both small and great. It is also the time for destroying those who destroy the earth.’ 19 Then the Temple of God in heaven was opened, and the Ark of the Covenant was seen in his Temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake and violent hail.” ~ Revelation 11:15-19 (CJB)
The end has come. The protracted conflict is over. We are transported beyond the Day of Judgment. The whole has reached its glorious consummation. Some believe that the rest of the book is a continuation of the first part. However, there are so many similarities that connect the following chapters to the earlier chapters that it seems more likely that the writer returns to proceed anew on a different line. In other words, chapters 6-11 run parallel or concurrently with chapters 12-19:15. The worship service Yochanan witnesses in chapter 11 is the same worship of the returning King that we are told about in chapter 19.
The seventh angel sounded his shofar… The Seventh Shofar and the Third Woe are depicting the same event. As the Seventh Shofar sounds, the Seven Bowls of God’s wrath begin as described later in Revelation, chapters 15 and 16. Keep in mind that we are still in the interlude period (Revelation 10-14). The writer continues to give an enlarged picture so that we might better understand the details of these events. The action will resume with the pouring out of the Bowl Judgments. These verses give us a preview of God’s ultimate victory.
…and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Messiah, and he will rule forever and ever!’ Warren Wiersbe puts it in balance when he writes: 
However, we must not incorrectly assume that our Lord is not reigning today because He is. According to Hebrews 7:1-2, Jesus Christ is “King of righteousness” and “King of peace.” He is enthroned with the Father (Rev. 3:21), and He will reign until He defeats all His foes (I Cor. 15:25). Today, He rules over a spiritual kingdom; but in that future day, He will reign over the nations of the world and rule with a rod of iron.
God has the ultimate authority and sovereignty over this world, but, as of now, He has not yet taken full control. The Book of Revelation gives the account of Him doing just that; taking control of this earth. In this fifteenth verse, we are given reason to believe that the coronation of our King is not far in the future.
The twenty-four elders sitting on their thrones in God’s presence fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying, ‘We thank you, Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, the One who is and was, that you have taken your power and have begun to rule. Keep in mind that the twenty-four elders represent the resurrected, raptured and transformed saints in heaven. We witnessed a similar scene in the fifth chapter of Revelation. In chapter five the elders acknowledged His right to reign.
The Goyim raged. But now your rage has come, the time for the dead to be judged, the time for rewarding your servants the prophets and your holy people, those who stand in awe of your name, both small and great. It is also the time for destroying those who destroy the earth. This verse of Scripture is loaded with various topics. It tells us that the Goyim raged. This is a fulfillment of Psalms, Chapter Two. The Psalmist writes, “Why are the nations in an uproar, the people’s grumbling in vain?” It continues with how the kings and rulers take counsel against the Lord (verse 2). Verse four says, “He who sits in heaven laughs; Adonai looks at them in derision.” Stern explains that this is a midrash overall of Psalm 2, contrasting God’s righteous judgment and rage with that of the Goyim, the heathen nations opposed to God and His ways.
Another topic found in Revelation 11:18 speaks of the Judgment of the Great White Throne. They that have rebelled against God and have destroyed the earth will be judged. This verse then goes from judgment to rewards. Those who have been faithful to the Lord look forward to His coming. “‘Pay attention!’ [says Yeshua,] ‘I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done.’” ~ Revelation 22:12 (CJB)
Finally, this chapter, which began with a Temple here on earth, closes with a glimpse of a Temple in Heaven.
Then the Temple of God in heaven was opened, and the Ark of the Covenant was seen in his Temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake and violent hail.” Jerry Falwell writes about this heavenly temple: 
This event just precedes the final outpouring of judgment and, as has been noted, the judgments are gaining in severity. Since the temple in Jerusalem has been defiled by the beast, it is not surprising to see a heavenly temple from which God rules in holiness. The presence of the ark of the covenant indicates that the judgments about to take place are based on the law, and God always keeps His covenants. As God is faithful to us who will be raptured before this period of tribulation, so too He will be faithful to those who trust in Him during this hour of trial.
Again, Stern explains about the Ark of the Covenant. The earthly ark, mentioned in the Brit Hadashah at Hebrews 9:4-5, is first described in Exodus 25:10-22. Initially kept behind the Tabernacle’s curtain and later inside the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s temple, this chest was afterwards apparently either removed by Shishak, king of Egypt, when he “took away the treasures of the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 14:25), or destroyed along with the temple by the Babylonians (compare Jeremiah 3:16).
Extra-biblical narratives say that the ark was hidden “in its place” (Talmud, Yoma 53b) or elsewhere. Yoma 52b says it was King Josiah who hid it; but in the Apocrypha, 2 Maccabees 2:4-8 tells that Jeremiah rescued the Ark and brought it to a cave on Mount Sinai to be preserved until God gathers his people together in Messianic times. Mention of the ark in the present verse accords with this tradition, since Israel’s salvation, a Messianic event, is reported above at v. 13. If the earthly ark symbolized God’s presence guiding his people, the appearance of the holy ark symbolizes God’s being about to fulfill the rest of his covenanted promises.
Special Comparative Note on Chapter 11:15-19
Historicists see the period between the sounding of the Sixth Shofar in Revelation 9:13 to Revelation 11:14 as depicting the 1,260 years. During this time the papal church persecuted the true church, and the Reformation occurred. The sounding of the Seventh Shofar brings to an end the first series of visions. Yeshua has endured the opposition of the apostate church and fulfills the longing of every godly soul; He has taken [His] power and…begun to rule.
Preterists associate the kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Messiah with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. [I’m sorry, folks. But to me, this is so far-fetched that I’m not going to try to explain their argument.]
Virtually all Futurists, being pre-millenarians, see the Seventh Shofar as heralding the Second Coming of Yeshua to put down all opposition, take authority of the nation’s Himself and establish His Millennial Kingdom. [This makes some sense only if you believe that chapters 6-11 run parallel or concurrently with chapters 12-19:15.]
Idealists view the Seventh Shofar as bringing in the final consummation of the reign of God. It is the close of Act 3 of the drama. This is the second picture in Revelation given of the end (see 6:12-17).
In my next post, we will explore Revelation 12:1-6 dealing with The Birth of the Male Child.
 A Layman’s Commentary on Revelation by Don Jones.
 Material in this post is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg. Notations in brackets, if any, are my comments.